Over the years, the Premier League has become known for some of the most iconic strikers in the game. The modern-day names of Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are deemed to be in the ‘world-class’ category by some but the latest entrant into that category could be Wolves marksman Raul Jimenez.
Jimenez’s rise to prominence has been different to that of Aguero, even though the Argentine is a former Atletico Madrid man himself. Jimenez had joined Wolves from Benfica on a loan deal in the summer of 2018. The club had achieved promotion under Nuno Santo in the 2017-18 campaign and Jimenez was supposed to lead the line, after having left Atleti in 2015 itself.
His last season at Benfica had seen him contribute to 13 goals for the club in the league. While that wasn’t the highest by any means, but Wolves were getting a fix to their striker issues in the Mexican.
While his first season in the Premier League was meant to be one for adaptation, it wasn’t the case for Jimenez. His first season yielded 13 goals and eight assists. While the numbers itself show how he’s equally good at scoring and creating, he was 14th in the table for non-penalty goals plus assist per 90 minutes with a tally of 0.55. Even though it wasn’t the best in the division, it was high for someone who was playing his first season in England.
But that was the best for Wolves, ahead of Diogo Jota. But this season shows how things have improved for him and it is also down to him having spent more time in the Premier League.
The campaign has seen him rise to 13th in that regard with a tally of 0.57. That isn’t a huge improvement, but he has scored 13 goals already this season. He has already equalled his goalscoring tally from the previous season and that is testimony to his improvement.
One reason for that could be how Jota and Adam Traore’s input had improved. But Jimenez averages the 13th highest number of pressures in the attacking third and it shows how he’s adept at pressing high up the pitch for the club. He does that, despite Wolves not being a team that presses high often.
As per Soccerment, he creates 1.54 chances per 90 minutes. It shows that he isn’t just a scorer of goals or a target-man, but he’s adept at creating for others too. It can be said that a two-striker formation has helped him get support from Jota, but the Mexican also boasts a dribbling accuracy of 66.7 percent. He completes 1.90 dribbles per 90 minutes.
He does thrive on getting 14 percent of his touches in the opposition’s box and this makes him available for service very often. More than that, it helps him maximise his shooting ability, as he takes 3.62 shots per 90 minutes. This has led to a higher number of goals for him, leading to a stark improvement in goals from the previous season.
His overall abilities make him a very competent striker for many clubs in England. His ability to link up play and be that technical outlet makes him a fit for Manchester City, while his pace and hold-up makes him valuable for Manchester United.
The deal that Wolves did was made permanent last summer, but it isn’t exactly hailed as a masterclass by anyone. But it should be, considering Wolves signed Jimenez despite him not coming across as a prolific goal-getter back in Portugal. But Nuno deserves immense credit for the player that he expertly spotted and has turned him into one of the best in the Premier League.